I recently fixed the tags on a question about common source vs. common drain topologies, and I created since the question used that term. However, common drain is also known as a source follower, which already has a tag: . Since these terms are synonymous it seems obvious that these tags should be synonyms.

Similarly, we already have and even though these are the same topology.

However, there are a couple of questions about how we'd want to handle these synonyms:

  1. Which tags should be the masters? Both and are more common (no pun intended), though and match the names of the tags for common source, common emitter, etc.
  2. Should each pair of tags be merged or merely synonyms? The differences between merged tags and tag synonyms are explained on main meta, but in short merging the tags would mean that all questions would be retagged with the master tag whereas if they are synonyms then some questions will be tagged with one synonym (e.g. ) and others with the other synonym (e.g. ), likely using whatever term is in the question.

1 Answer 1


To summarize, I propose six master tags: , , , , , and . All these already exist. I further propose marking variants as synonyms for now, and leaving the decision to merge for a later date after there is a greater chance for discussion.

Concerning which tag should be the master, I personally prefer leaving discussions like that for English Wikipedia where there has typically already been significant global discussion. I see that there, source-follower and emitter-follower redirect to common-drain and common-collector, respectively. In fact, Wikipedia provides six separate articles for single transistor amplifiers:

  • Bipolar junction transistor: Common emitter · Common collector · Common base
  • Field-effect transistor: Common source · Common drain · Common gate

Concerning merging versus merely synonyms, per your link on main meta:

All good tag synonyms should eventually be merged (source)... As merging is not (easily) reversible, it should be done with caution... Merging, by itself, does not create a synonym... In most cases, you will want to create or ensure that a synonym exists, so that future attempts to use the merged tag will replace it with the canonical tag instead.

So, making synonyms is reversible and a mod doesn't have to worry about making a "bad" synonym as it can be rectified after the fact. Imo making a "bad" synonym is reasonable way to generate more community feedback. However, merging requires more caution, which to me means requiring more community feedback.

Therefore, merging can wait awhile in case implementing the synonym causes dissenting opinions to come out, and reversing or modifying the synonyms is deemed necessary. If no dissent appears after an appropriate amount of time, then they should be merged.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems pretty reasonable to me, +1. \$\endgroup\$
    – Null
    Dec 15, 2021 at 13:33

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